Many think that Marimekko is all about Finnish design and designers, but they are wrong. There are plenty of Marimekko designs made by designers originating from other countries and cultures. One of these designers is Japanese artist Katsuji Wakisaka.
As early as 1970’s Katsuji Wakisaka was hired to bring new ideas to Marimekko prints together with another designer called Fujiwo Ishimoto. Wakisaka was at the time a 24 year old designer graduated from the Kyoto School of Art & Design. He stayed with Marimekko for eight years designing prints full of playfulness and colours and bringing a new style to Marimekko fabrics.
Simple cartoon-like graphics became Wakisaka’s trademark when working with Marimekko. A good example of this is his best known design called Bo Boo. In this print, colourful vehicles of all sorts – cars, busses, vans and trucks – are travelling in rows over a white background. The colors of this design are vivid and deep, giving this fabric its distinctive look, but the style is very naïve and child-like.
The bright joyfulness of the pattern has made it one of the most famous Finnish children’s prints of all the time. Not only do kids that love cars like this style: the colours make this fabric also suitable for any children’s room. Designer Wakasaka has succeeded in combining the Scandinavian design taste of minimalism with the colourful pattern: the white background of the print makes it easy to combine with other colours, even for the sleek Scandinavian taste.